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City Commits $200 Grand for Policing Hell’s Angels

Published in 1%er News and All News

The City of Cody and Cody Police Department are preparing for the arrival of the Hell's Angels this summer.

Police Chief Perry Rockvam met with Governor Mead and legislators this year. The department was requesting financial assistance from the state to cover the cost of adding extra law enforcement during the Angels' stay in late July, early August.

The last time the Hell's Angels were in Cody in 2006, the state committed $500,000 to cover extra patrol wages and overtime. Rockvam admits that the department did not learn until late that the Angels were coming this summer and is not near as prepared as it was eight years ago.

“The residents of the city don't want this event to be here,” said Rockvam. “However, we  can't tell them not to come. When (the Angels) do decide to make the community a place for them to visit it becomes an operation that we just have to manage.”

Current projections show that managing the situation will cost the department anywhere between $143,000 and $150,000 more than planned otherwise.

Fuel and supply costs are still an unkown.

Around the city, Highway Patrol, the Bureau of Land Management, and Yellowstone will all be aiding in their respective jurisdictions, covering costs of extra patrols internally. The city is left up to Cody PD.

“We are forced to manage this thing,” said Rockvam, “and it's going to costs us additional fees that we normally don't budget. It's definitely a city, county, and state public safety issue. I think the Hell's Angels are pretty notorious. They're well known. The potential is always there for violence. I'm not saying that the Hell's Angels are going to be bringing problems. I'm just saying that there is a potential for violence.”

The city has agreed to budget $200,000 for additional policing and with tight budgets all around, City Council is exploring possibly using sales tax received from Marathon or drawing the money from its savings.

“That might be a possibility,” said Rosencranse. “The other thing that's a little uneasy at this point in time is all the department budgets are due, we haven't put everything together yet, so we don't have the big picture yet. We're getting there. It's always good to have these conversations early and often.”

If expenses exceed what the city and state set aside, ultimately the city will be left holding the bill.

As they aim to achieve a break-even budget, an overage is the last thing council wants to see.

With the $200,000 commitment from the city, Rockvam will now receive assistance figures from the state.

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